Photo ads for local theater always "staged"

Why are photos advertising local theater productions always staged? Why not use a photo from an actual production? Is it some kinda bad luck thing to take pictures during a play?

First of all, it annoys the hell out of actors when they are trying to do their jobs on stage. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than camera blind performers bumping into each other in the middle of Our Town.

Second, many of these photos are taken days (or weeks) before the play’s run so that reviewers can preview the performance and have some decent shots before opening night. Often actors are photographed before they have their real costumes or sets built. The newspaper phtographer in conjunction with the director try to come up with something “dramatic” to lure a crowd. The result may have nothing to do with what actually happens on stage.

Sorry. You asked about ads not newspaper photographs. But the answer is related.

All shots are taken during a Photo Call which is usually done for the benefit of the papers – reviews and previews equal free advertising. Since the actors are posing anyway, this is the time that the theater company brings in their own photographers to snap away for their own publicity photos.
Unless an actor dies in the middle of a run or something, all photos are taken at this time.

Plus you can stage the shot instead of just
hoping to get a good one during a live shoot.

Then there’s the whole concern of lighting
A still subject is far better than a moving one when you’re setting up lighting.


You can become a captain of industry and rich beyond your wildest dreams, but to your family you’re still that dumb kid they tricked into eating a worm. - Dennis Miller

That’s not always true- I’m in a small theatre play, and all our publicity picyures were actually taken during the play (or a rehearsal) from someone in the audience.

Remember- If you’re angry it takes 42 muscles to frown, and only a few muscles to smack the idiot that mad you angry in the first place.

Sonic, you are kinda rare. Getting a camera person out there at all can be a challenge. You make an appointment. You pray everyone shows up. You stage a scene.
It gets printed. Yea!

How are you going to make a photograph of a play if you don’t have the play going to take the photograph first?

You do it when your play is in rehearsals.

With absolutely no knowlege of the techincal issues…

I agree, the worst is that those photos make the actors and production look like dorks. Isn’t there a way to do it that conveys the intent w/o looking so hokey?

Same goes for pictures of football players. The poor souls are posed in obviously faked “ferocious” poses that make them look like they have BAD elimination problems.

Uninformed but opinionated,